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Omate smartwatch is a $199 standalone Android phone for your wrist

Looking to stand out from the growing smartwatch crowd, the Omate watch can be either a second screen for your smartphone or it can be your smartphone itself. The small wearable runs Android 4.2.2(s goog) and includes support for 2G and 3G networks: You can accept or place voice calls and download data with the Omate.

The smartwatch is a just-launched Kickstarter project noticed by the blog on Wednesday. When I started to watch the product demo video, I almost tuned out as the first part is all about the design and doesn’t show the Omate in action. I’m glad I stayed tuned, however. This looks like a promising product at the prototype stage:

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I like the idea of the Omate because it replicates and looks to improve upon the features of my current smartwatch: A MotoACTV. That device also runs Android, although it’s heavily customized, and it has various radios inside: FM, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi.

The Omate looks to have a familiar but optimized Android interface meant for easy interaction on the 1.54-inch touchscreen display.

omate smartwatch screens

And of course, it adds support for mobile voice and data; even including slots for a microSIM and microSD card.

omate smarwatch board

The device runs on 512 MB of memory and includes 4 GB of internal storage. Some other key specifications:

  • Dual Core Cortex A7 – 1.3GHz
  • Omate UI 1.0 / Android 4.2.2
  • 1.54’’ TFT by LG display (240 x 240)
  • Multi-touch Capacitive Touch Screen
  • Connectivity capabilities:
    + 2G GSM: GPRS class 12 EDGE Multi-Slot Class 12
    + 3G WCDMA: HSPA 7.2Mbps/5.76Mbps
    + WiFi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
    + Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS
  • Embedded 5Mpixel camera
  • Audio Speaker & Microphone
  • 600 mAh battery: up to 100 hours standby time
  • Messaging Hub: SMS/MMS/Email/SNS
  • G-sensor, E-Compass, Gyroscope, IP67
  • Vibration alert
  • Full set of pre-qualified Android applications
  • Over-the-Air (OTA) system firmware update

I’m not sold on the need for a camera in a smartwatch, mainly because I’d think it difficult to use or add more bulk than I’d like. But if Samsung is planning to include a camera in its upcoming Galaxy Gear, maybe the industry knows something I don’t.

And I’m wondering about that SIM card slot: It means the watch will have its own phone number and data plan. Yuck! That also means you’ll probably want to forward missed calls from a smartphone to the watch, lest people will have yet another phone number to call you on.

The Omate is available to all who pledge $199 but early birds can save $20 for a limited time. The project has already raised nearly $22,000 of its $100,000 goal and still has 29 days to go.

10 Responses to “Omate smartwatch is a $199 standalone Android phone for your wrist”

  1. Might be better to make it less like a watch and moe like an archery bracer, so screen/keyboard could be larger and run parallel to your arm. All the working parts could be on the interior of the arm, and the outside of the arm could have customizable decorative bling.

  2. if its unlocked…..wouldn’t I just swap my ATT micro sim from my galaxy 2 into the slot ..just like my other sim accepting devices???? Help me out here…what ami missing…looks pretty straight forward…as long as its unlocked and your on tmob, att, digicel …ect.

  3. This would only make sense if it could be independent from your smartphone and yet share the same number and data plan. Otherwise it will be more cost and hassle than any benefit it brings.

  4. loopyduck

    “It means the watch will have its own phone number and data plan.”

    You have the option to tether it to a phone over Bluetooth. Says that right on the Kickstarter page.

  5. Michael Lovett

    I really don’t get all the HYPE over these things! I had one of those phone watches I bought from Hong Kong and used it in mainland China back in 2004!!!

    THIS IS OLD TECH and I don’t get why people are only NOW finding out about it!